Use of Online Social Networking and Academic Performance of Students

Use of Online Social Networking and Academic Performance of Students

Maslin Masrom (Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia) and Selisa Usat (Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch259

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Online social networking sites (OSNs) are websites that give users a range of services based on web technologies that allow individuals to build a public or semi public profile with relationships system, have a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and finally, view and navigate through the list of users' connections with those who share a connection in the system (Boyd & Ellison, 2007).

OSNs are also defined as a range of activities enabled by social technologies or social media tools include blog, microblog, wiki, social networking site, video sharing site and online discussion board or forum, and operationalized by a group of people (Hamid et al., 2009). It enables users to socialize and create networks online. Examples of OSNs that are used on a regular basis by millions of people nowadays are Facebook, Twitters, MySpace, Friendster, Youtube and Skype. In Malaysia, social interaction in cyberspace by using social networking has been adapted by many people and has changed their communication (Mustafa & Hamzah, 2011).

We define online social networking as the latest online communication tool that allows users to create a public or private profile to interact with people in their networks, share their profile information, communicate with others, and share data and information within that system.

The social technologies can support interaction among students by allowing them to actively participate in a discussion. The students can work collaboratively in an online social environment to solve problems with their peers, or to organize social events. The collaborative production’s principle embedded in social technologies enable learners and teachers to share and publish artifacts produced as a result of the learning activity (for example, course materials such as course syllabus, course notes and assignments). In this regard, the use of social technologies has changed the demand of education.

Online social networking can be classified into five categories (Fraser & Dutta, 2008), namely, (i) egocentric networks - act as a platform to build a network of friends; (ii) web communities - collecting members with identity ties based on interest, gender, race, nation, religion and others; (iii) opportunistic web – the members gathered for business purpose or professional relationship using OSN site such as LinkedIn; (iv) passion-centric network – gathered people who share interests or hobbies (communities of interest); and (v) media-sharing site – this site is defined based on its contents (such as Youtube for those who want to share videos).

Students are increasingly using these social networks for friends’ news feeds, personal updates, events and activities, notes, and messages. According to Michael, Robyn and Kate (2013) the widespread use of media among college students from texting to chatting on cell phones to posting status updates on Facebook may be taking an academic toll. They found media use, in general, was associated with lower grade point averages (GPAs) and other negative academic outcomes. Thus, this has led to a rise of below question:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Academic Performance: The academic performance is defined by students’ reporting of past semester CGPA/GPA and their expected GPA for the current semester. The grade point average or GPA is now used by most of the tertiary institutions as a convenient summary measure of the academic performance of their students. The GPA is a better measurement because it provides a greater insight into the relative level of performance of individuals and different group of students.

Social media: Technologies that facilitate social interaction, make possible collaboration, and enable deliberations across stakeholders.

Twitter: Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging site or service that enable users to send and read tweets (text messages).

Facebook: Facebook is a popular online social networking site or service that offers an online platform on which users create profiles, generate and share contents and information, and interact with other contacts.

Friendster: Friendster is an online social network site where we can meet people online, find new and old school friends and play games.

Online Social Networking Sites: Online social networking sites (OSNs) generally refer to Internet-based locations that allow individuals and groups to interact. Specifically, it refers to those Internet-based services that: promote online social interaction between two or more persons within a bounded system for the purposes of friendship, meeting other persons, and/or exchanging information; contains a functionality that lets users create public or semi-public personal profile pages that contain information of their own choosing; serves as a mechanism to communicate with other users; and contains mechanisms that allow users to search for other users according to some specific criteria. Examples of the most visited OSNS are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Friendster, Myspace, and LinkedIn.

Online Social Networking: Online social networking is defined as the latest online communication tool that allows these users to create a public or private profile to interact with people in their networks.

MySpace: MySpace is online social networking sites that allow users to create webpages to interact with other users. Then, users are able to create blogs, upload videos and photos, and design profiles to showcase their interests and talents.

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